DVC Students Want More from Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Photo+by+Karolina+Grabowska+via+Pexels.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels.

Cassandra Shoneru, Staff

Jonathan Acosta, a student at Diablo Valley College for the past three semesters, wasn’t that impressed when he heard the news about the Biden Administration’s student debt forgiveness program last month.

“I have heard about it, but not a lot,” he said. “I think it’s good but I feel like people need more.”

Acosta added that after talking with some of his friends who have already picked their majors, the amount the government is awarding simply isn’t enough.

“[Students] need a lot more money,” he said. “Some of them can’t afford [student loans].”

President Biden’s Student Loan Debt Relief Plan, announced on Aug. 24, will cancel up to $10,000 for people with federal student loans and up to $20,000 for students who received Pell Grants.

“This plan offers targeted debt relief as part of a comprehensive effort to address the burden of growing college costs and make the student loan system more manageable for working families,” the White House stated in a press release.

The Department of Education reports that a typical college student graduates with about $25,000 in debt.

Responding to last month’s news, Rayshell Clapper, an English professor at DVC, said “any sort of financial help is good.”

“I think this is a first step in a more important discussion about the cost of college and how college should be a right, not a burden,” Clapper said. “Hopefully this is the first step they take to really rethink the college and university cost.”

Evan Dunla and Jennifer Lopez, two current College Park High School students attending DVC part-time, said neither of them had heard about Biden’s plan although they both intend to get degrees.

“Any money you can [receive] to help not get in debt is very appreciated, especially considering the fact that college prices are going up and a lot of wages aren’t going up at the same rate,” said Dunla.

Lopez added, “We’re going to graduate soon. I think it’ll be useful then.”

Ruhi Patel has been a student at DVC on and off for a year and found out about the debt plan through TikTok.

“Scrolling through [social media], it’s a topic,” she said.

Although she’s unsure of what her next steps will be, she plans to learn more about the program.

“It’s absolutely something that I would look into and be aware of and learn more about,” Patel said.

According to the White House, President Biden also plans to continue his fight to double the amount of the Pell Grant and make all community college free.